The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children undergo autism screening at 18 and 24 months of age. Children who receive early intervention and treatment will have the best prognosis and treatment plan, which is why screening is done so early. Autism refers to a wide assortment of autism spectrum disorders that affect a child’s social skills, behaviors, interests, and communication.
What Does Autism Screening Look Like?
Counseling services for autism screening can help parents plan for the future so that they can know what to expect from a child with autism. Though autism spectrum disorders range from mild to severe, they share many similarities.
There are no medical tests for screening autism so most tests and screening procedures are based on observations. A physician or psychologist will observe a child to see how they interact socially, how they communicate, and the quality of their interests, hobbies, and activities. Once parents find someone to run the tests, the psychologist or physician will take into account several things, such as the age of the child, the severity of the symptoms, and local resources and options for the parents and child.
Basic screening can take as little as 5 minutes, though they can take longer if more in-depth tests are conducted. Autism screening tools used by therapists are measures that differentiate children who are at risk of atypical development from children who are developing at a typical rate. The tools themselves may be a questionnaire given by parents or exchanges made between the child and therapist. Though autism screening tools do not give a diagnosis, they help assess cognitive and behavioral development at a typical rate.
Why Choose New Horizons for Autism Screening?
On the New Horizons staff, we have two psychologists with training in child psychology as well as autism screening, and our facilities are much more family friendly than an impersonal doctor’s office. We will personally screen your child and walk you through the process to explain what each stage tells us about your child’s development processes.